Thursday, February 09, 2006

This is getting interesting

Well, I won't try to break my arm by patting myself on the back too much. When I said in this previous post that I thought the Lions should run a Rams style O, I didn't think they would be hiring the mad scientist himself to run it. I still haven't published my 'fixing the D' post, but I wanted a more aggressive D as well, and hiring Donnie Henderson definitely fits that bill as well. Maybe Millen is reading my blog?

Wishful thinking - not a chance.

What I find very interesting is how Martz and Henderson will mesh with Marinelli. Marinelli has stated he wants a power running attack, and a rush 4 cover-2 D - which are both about directly opposite the coordinators he's hired philosophies. Martz does get good running production out of his backs, but lets be honest - he's all about using the pass to set up the run. And Henderson is a blitz-happy madman on the other side of the ball. How these two tweak their philosophies to mesh with Marinelli may be as telling as anything - and also how much Marinelli allows his positions to change.

Marinelli has stated that he is looking for 'leaders of men' and guys who 'get it done on tape' more than guys who completely buy into the same philosophies as he does. Well, these too coordinators definitely are leaders of men, and definitely are not of the same philosophy as Rod. What may be most telling is that former players for all three coaches have said very similar things - that they would run through walls for them. That they are all good teachers. That they all demand discipline and perfection. This is exactly what the Lions have needed for a long time, but only time will tell if they truly can get that message through to the guys on this squad.

One interesting aspect of the hiring's is the potentials they have created for some free agents to consider the Lions who may not have given them a thought before. In all honesty, does anyone think John Abraham would have given the Lions more than a casual thought before Henderson was hired? Think any skill position players would be interested in the kind of big stats they would get in a Martz O? How about the glowing remarks guys like Derrick Brooks and Simeon Rice had for Rod making a difference in recruiting free agents? These hiring's may have made Matt Millen's job significantly easier.

Again, we still haven't seen how any of the offseason stuff will translate into actual on-field performance. But you have to like the direction things are headed here.

1 comment:

NufTang said...

I have one major hope: that Martz, Marinelli, and Henderson can finally be the ones who can turn the greatest show on paper into the greatest show on turf. I think they can.